The Kia Optima may be the best buy in a midsize family sedan on the U.S. market today.
Since being completely redesigned in 2010, Optima has become Kia’s best seller. Built at Kia’s plant in West Point, GA, the 2013 Optima lineup has been expanded with the new and sporty top-of-the-line Limited trim.
The Optima has a sleek silhouette, an aggressive stance and a bold face, with the Kia badge on the tabbed grille complemented by projector headlights. The roofline connects with the pronounced shoulder line, leading to sculpted flanks and accentuating the extended wheelbase. Flared wheel arches and a raked cabin create a sedan with a graceful muscular presence.
On the inside, the instrument panel is contoured toward the driver to create a “cockpit” feel, with precise gauges and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The seats and trim are of Nappa leather, with wood interior accents, an electronic parking brake and a first aid kit. A sportinspired Sportmatic shifter delivers crisp shifts, while an available panoramic sunroof provides an open-air feeling.
All Optimas come well equipped, with the LX trim offering dual exhaust with chrome tips, solar glass, exterior mirror turn signal indicators, front fog lights, exterior heated mirrors, chrome-accented exterior door handles, 16-inch alloy wheels and a six-speed automatic transmission. The EX has larger 17 inch alloy wheels, while the SX has more stylish 18-inch polished alloy wheels, unique front and rear lower bumpers and side sills, a rear lip spoiler, aero wiper blades and HID headlights with auto leveling.
The new top-of-the-line Limited trim brings a level of sporty refinement, adding unique 18-inch chrome wheels, daytime running lights, red brake calipers, chromeaccented side sills, chromed-side mirrors and a rear spoiler.
In addition to its sporty personality, the Optima is loaded with standard convenience features and functionality, such as a six-way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, tilt and telescopic steering column, glove box cooling capabilities and automatic light control. Additional standard interior features include power door locks, power windows and sun visor extension.
The 2013 Optima offers a choice of two fuel-efficient, powerful Theta II engines with gasoline direct injection (GDI), including a 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder or a 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine. A 2.4-liter hybrid powertrain also is available. The 2.4 liter GDI engine produces 200 hp, while the 274-hp 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine (SX models) delivers V-6 type power with four-cylinder efficiency. Each engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic clutchless shifting. Both engines deliver good fuel economy; the 2.4-liter four cylinder posts 24/35 mpg while the 2.0-liter turbo GDI gets 22/34 mpg.
Base price on the 2013 Kia Optima LX is $21,200.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com